After both Darren Till and Kevin Holland were scheduled to fight Jack Hermansson, unfortunate circumstances struck those pairings down. However, “the Joker” reiterated that his desire was to fight, and then Marvin Vettori entered the fray on short notice. At UFC Vegas 16, top ranked middleweights will compete for title contention.
Top undefeated prospect Jamahal Hill will take on the crafty veteran Ovince St. Preux in the co main event. Now, the main event is here, and Hermansson will look to parlay his recent activity into another win. However, with a young, and hungry upstart like Vettori, surely that will be a tall order.
UFC Vegas 16
St. Preux vs. Hill
First, let’s take a closer look at St. Preux versus Hill. Despite his unsuccessful bid at heavyweight in May, St. Preux bounced back impressively in a showcase performance against Alonzo Menifield. Specifically, the patience “OSP” displayed during the bout screamed title contention. The light heavyweight mainstay has an effective ground game in addition to an impressive striking acumen. Consequently, OSP has shown time and time again how threatening and versatile he is. For example, his ability to snatch his signature Von Flue choke deserves mention. Overall, St. Preux represents a unique and unorthodox challenge to any up and coming competition.
After Hill demonstrated hellacious elbows on the Tuesday Night Contender Series, it was clear the undefeated American would be a problem for the division. After his entrance into the UFC, Hill maintained his undefeated record when he picked up solid wins against Darko Stošić and Klidson Abreu. The reason these wins speak so loudly is because both opponents had more experience than Hill inside the cage. Now the unbeaten prospect gets to showcase at UFC Vegas 16 why he deserves to be atop the light heavyweight division. However, since St. Preux sent the last young contender packing with a vicious left hook, surely Hill enters this bout calculated.
The Main Event
Italian powerhouse Marvin Vettori takes on the “Joker” Hermansson in the headliner. Most notably taking the champion Israel Adesanya to a split decision in 2018, it’s no surprise to see Vettori in a possible title eliminator. After a blistering performance win over Karl Roberson where bad blood boiled over, Vettori pleaded for a top ranked opponent. With several opponent changes, he’s sliding in against Hermansson for a top spot in the division. After the “Joker” eliminated Kelvin Gastelum in the first round with a heel hook, it cemented his status as one of the top middleweights.
The versatility of Hermansson raises questions as to how the fight could play out. No stranger to the ground, Vettori has trained at Kings MMA with top grapplers and for a time, head coach Rafael Cordeiro, surely the “Italian Dream” is prepared for grappling exchanges. While it’s difficult to measure the striking ability of both, Vettori enters the bout with more momentum in the form of three wins. With an emphatic victory at UFC Vegas 16, the middleweight division will have a new player in title contention that will be hard to deny.
Embed from Getty Images